Ask Troppo’s Love Gods: prognosis for the one night stand

Sometimes I’m overcome with a feeling that Club Troppo’s tone is rather too uniformly earnest and worthy. Dr Troppo’s posts sometimes help to dispel the ennui, but I can’t help thinking more is needed. There’s so much more to life than politics, law and economics. Love and relationships for a start. Judging by the mix of material found in the MSM, most people spend a large slice of their lives talking or reading about dating, relationships, love and romance.

It’s high time Troppo dipped a toe into the murky waters of love, romance, sex and dating. And what better place to start than the SMH’s wildly popular “blog” Ask Sam edited by Samantha Brett? It’s said to be responsible for a large proportion of the online SMH’s daily “hits”. And no wonder. It’s a seething maelstrom of real life melodrama and post-teen angst. Yet the advice Sam and her callow readers actually dispense to their lovelorn correspondents is pedestrian at best. Accordingly we here at Troppo have decided to help. We’ve assembled a team of world-weary but wise and deeply compassionate life counsellors, who will be let loose each week on one of Ask Sam’s romantically (and often intellectually) bereft correspondents.

Troppo’s impressive panel of Love Gods includes Dr Troppo (and perhaps on occasion his Receptionist); arts reviewer extraordinaire Darlene Taylor; legendary pseudonymous blog commenter Nabakov; Jen McCulloch; Nicholas Gruen; erstwhile Troppo author and commenter Geoff Honnor; Saint in a Straitjacket and Rex Ringschott. Of course, they won’t all have time to advise our chosen victim correspondent every week, but we hope to get at least two or three wise and caring panel responses each time, and of course you our gentle readers are most welcome to contribute your own wisdom in the comment box.

This week’s reader problem comes from Ask Sam correspondent Gen (not to be confused with my wife Jen, who is in fact one of Troppo’s Love Gods), who asks:

I happened to have a one night stand on NYE (my first one) and this guy has continued to message me and I’ve been messaging him back. I am feeling like I really could like him and I may have ruined any chances of something deeper because I slept with him the way I did. Is there any way this could work? Is this salvageable? – Gen

Like me, you may detect a faint whiff here of the social attitudes examined by Anne Summers in her seminal Australian feminist work Damned Whores and God’s Police. But not Sam Brett or her pimply readers, their perspectives tend decisively towards the less cerebral. And good job too. But enough of the blatherings of this misanthropic middle aged curmudgeon. What do Troppo’s Love Gods think about Gen’s romantic dilemma?

1. Dr. Troppo

My dear Ms Gen, it is impossible to offer you any real assistance unless I know what genre of romantic fiction you are trying to re-create in real life. If you’re trying to live out the plot of an old fashioned romance — one where lovemaking is postponed until after you’ve established a solid emotional context for the relationship —  then you have certainly failed.

But despite anything inspirational life coaches might tell you, you are not the author of your own life. The supporting characters in your story are busy creating their own dialogue and plotting their own arcs. You don’t get to do that for them. The young man you fancy has probably cast himself as the hero in an entirely different story. Perhaps he sees himself as a slightly older Paulie Bleeker, ready to dive in at the deep end and swim his way upstream for his first passionate kiss? But whoever you and he think you are, neither of you are in charge of the plot line of your little drama. You are going to have to work that out with each other.

While you may not be in charge of your wonderboy’s behaviour you can certainly be in charge of your own. If you don’t want to sleep with him again until you know whether or not he likes you, then that is entirely up to you.

2. Darlene

In this day and age, its shocking to learn that not all females have read The Rules (and The Rules II for that matter). For the benefit of the cheap slut who’s worried about whether shes blown her chances with a bloke because she slept with him on the first date, The Rules is one the most successful guides to securing the heart of Mr. Right ever published in the immensely crowded genre of dating advice books for women.

Ms (shes definitely not a Miss) Hussy broke at least 60 of the 55 rules outlined in the classic compilation of The Rules and The Rules II, The Complete Book of Rules (TCBOR). According to TCBOR:

But what if you like sex a lot too, and denying yourself is just as hard as denying him? Does that mean you sleep with him on the first or second date? Unfortunately, the answer is still no. You will just have to exercise a bit of self-restraint and character building here and trust that if you hold off for a few weeks or months, you wont be sorry. Why risk having him call you easy (and think of you that way) when hes talking to his mates in the locker room the next day? Better that he be angry and strategizing (sic) ways of seducing you on the next date than moving onto the next girl.

Whats this fellow lets not call him a gentleman saying in the text messages hes sending to Ms Strumpet: Thanks for the sex on the first date, how about more sex on a second date : )?, Hey tart, dont text me ever again, or R U Up for a 3sum with me and me buddy Wayne ; )?. What we know from The Rules is that hes definitely not saying, Youre an attractive lady, and Id most appreciate your company in a few days time for coffee and cake. Of course, a Rules lady would ignore that text message, or be too busy to make the suggested date. A Rules gal would make him wait, so she has time to rehearse being honest but mysterious. In other words, the tramp worried about whether she has blown it has.

3. Jen

 You ‘happened to have a one night stand’……. interesting way to put it.

Exactly what sort of an accident was it?

  1. The robust and direct sex accident? – Hello. You smell great lets fuck.
  2. The swoon swept off our feet accident – I’m not really this kind of girl but you are so charming and special and deep that we are destined to make sweet love. or
  3. the absent minded did I do that? accident. – Whoops. Now how did that get in there?

and this guy has continued to message me and I’ve been messaging him back.

  1. He is messaging you because he thinks you are up for it and a great bounce.
  2. He remembers being a sex god and the object of your rampaging irresistable desire – he wants to prove to his mates this state of delerium exists by producing the goods. You.
  3. Don’t trust this guy, he is an unfortunate and penniless – seen sober he may be the neurotic loser in the corner.

I am feeling like I really could like him and I may have ruined any chances of something deeper because I slept with him the way I did.

  1. Yep you’d be right there, no chance.
  2. He’ll go deeper depending on his options – obviously you are the best thing on offer right now.
  3. Depends on your compassion, commitment and your ability to follow through.

Is there any way this could work? Is this salvageable?

  1. Perhaps if you got down on all fours and gently nuzzled…… Definite possibility for a long term meaningful relationship predicated on secrecy, silence and orgasm.
  2. Possible if you can play the ‘You are my love god’ or ‘I am the sex kitten’ gig – but you snivel too much forget it.
  3. This guy is a lifestyle choice. Definitely a long termer. He’ll still be sucking your marrow when you are dead.

4. Saint

 Dear Gen,

Thank you for your letter. Love God has advised me that your direct line to him is faulty from your end and has asked me to reply on his behalf.

I confess to never having read how successive generations of Australian women have collaborated in perpetuating this existential straitjacket of being damned whores, so I am perplexed as to how to advise you, even though I too type with my nose. Somehow “embrace your inner slut” does not ring true with my vocation, nor I suspect yours. Besides, if your one night stand can’t hold a phone up to his ear long enough to speak to you, what makes you think he’s able to pick up the bills, the bin, or the baby?

It seems to me that more than your fingers need to do the walking. Otherwise, protect yourself.

saint in a straitjacket
A/g Undersecretary
Ministry of Women’s Liberation
Love God Heaven

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Jim Farrell
13 years ago

I just saw Jane Weinstock’s movie Easy, (2003), which could be (but won’t be) the last word on the topic. Worth watching.

The Receptionist
The Receptionist
13 years ago

Ken, you say that sometimes you are “overcome with a feeling that Club Troppos tone is rather too uniformly earnest and worthy.”

But do you really think it is wise to encourage Dr Troppo? After all, there’s nothing worse than a middle-aged man trying to be witty and hip.

After a recent trip to the movies he’s become convinced that all smart, sarcastic 16 year old girls are into anti-folk. If I have to listen to another Moldy Peaches song I’m going to …

Sorry. I momentarily lost my composure.

Pavlov's Cat
13 years ago

I would advise the young lady in question to re-phrase the question and ask herself whether the young gentleman has ruined any chances of something deeper because he slept with her the way he did, or whether she has decided that he is just a cheap slut.

Unless she means ‘he slept with her the way he did, rather than some other and presumably preferable way’. In which case the question would still apply, only more so.

13 years ago

Love the new-era Dear Dorothy Dix.
Cracked up over the replies to Gen, though all-in-all the advice wasn’t bad.
Look forward to another Club Troppo dip into the lonely hearts pool!

13 years ago

I’m with Ms PC on this (I think). I think it only becomes a truly innovative concept once genders have been swapped and that could become the real challenge to thinking. And with that, the old-fashioned, cliched, patriarchal, stereotyping, that Club Tropp is constantly at pains to distance itself from could be summarily dispensed with.

Had the bloke written this the uniform response would undoubtedly have been something along the lines of:- Yeah. Right. Whereas for a woman it brings up questions of her apparent moral fibre, or lackthereof and the overwhelming consensus that the bloke is definitely only interested in another root.

because I slept with him the way I did.

Would suggest the woman in question doesn’t normally ‘sleep’ with people in this way. i.e, it was a drug-induced aberration and she’ll never be able pull it off again, but he’d like to think this was her normal behaviour and is as keen as mustard to go another round.

Darlene, this is what confirms my inner misanthropist–everybody has read and committed to memory the (Fucking) Rules but I’ve only ever managed to get a paranoid sense that such a tome exists. Rules/schmooles I say! The Conservative-age still has its teeth sunk firmly in. And the bimbo lives to die another day.

The Worst of Perth
13 years ago

Still seems just as earnest. Less worthy though, so that’s for the better.

Martha Maus
Martha Maus
13 years ago

MSM? Oh please,don’t do it. For both our sakes. The MSM will never understand Dr Troppo’s nuanced whimsy. And, as a migraineur, I have to avoid the wrong kind of brain stimulation, hence I am severely restricted in my blog reading. Club Troppo is one of a handful of Australian bookmarks left.

The Devil Drink
The Devil Drink
13 years ago

I am feeling like I really could like him and I may have ruined any chances of something deeper because I slept with him the way I did.

Thank you for your inquiry.
We require more information to process your request.
Any more detail will certainly shed light onto this rather technical question. We keenly await further exposition on any such drug-induced aberration as allegedly occurred. Illustrations will be accepted and returned with a stamped self-addressed envelope.
The Devil Drink
Marketing Manager (Acting), Lovin’ Division, IKEA*
*everything flat-packed and assembled at home, sweating and cursing, with a 5mm allen key

13 years ago

Moldy Peaches??????

“Rules/schmooles” indeed, Caroline. The book is really telling women to be something they’re not to attract a bloke. Of course, what’s he going to think when the woman drops the act and behaves like herself, instead?

It sold trillions, though.

13 years ago

Pretty disappointing, kids: too uniformly earnest and worthy. Also, Doc Trop has too obviously just seen Stranger than Fiction.

“I am feeling like I really could like him and I may have ruined any chances of something deeper because I slept with him the way I did.”

Try sleeping with him a different way next time, then see if it gets any deeper.

The Devil Drink
The Devil Drink
13 years ago

Yes, that’s my joke, Fyodor, but I’ll grant you the better delivery.
Takes two to innuendo.

13 years ago

Ah. I did wonder what you were getting at – more obtuse than subtle, I’m afraid. Don’t take this personally, but I don’t think smut’s your bag, Louis.

P.S. I always knew IKEA was the unholy work of the debbil.

The Devil Drink
The Devil Drink
13 years ago

Yes, I think I’ll stick to encouraging NYE chunderama in future.
The Devil Drink’s Rules for 31 December: #1 Eating Is Cheating. #2 If It’s Your First Time, You Must Drink. #3 Go!!!!!

P.S. I always knew IKEA was the unholy work of the debbil.

It’s classic, straight out of Satanic folk culture. By saving on warehousing and manufacturing, I offer a fashionable premium-branded product that you like, at a price you can afford, and simplify delivery, and it’s only when you’ve gotten the thing out of the box and skinned all your knuckles on the hard-edged pine lacquer and the soft-steel allen key we provide, that you realise just what kind of transaction you’ve made.

13 years ago

must be slow for news if Troppo is diverting to that dark, murky world of the human psyche

13 years ago

Dear Gen,

I am feeling like I really could like him and I may have ruined any chances of something deeper because I slept with him the way I did

I’m not like the others. I’m not going to make lewd jokes about your choice choice of words. I respect you too much, and I appreciate how emotionally vulnerable you are at this distressing time.

Now listen. I’m going to be brutally honest, because you deserve the truth. You ask is there any way this could work? Is this salvageable? The answer is quite simply no. He’s just pretending to like to like you because he wants to get into your panties again (Sorry pants again). He doesn’t really respect you, and as I’ve already said, I do.

You’re too good for him Gen. I can tell that without having even met you, but I don’t hesistate to say it because I only want what’s best for you.

You need to lift your eyes up young lady. Away from your phone and its terse little SMSs of sleazy intent, and instead get into email (RU/18?), where the possibilities are no longer restricted by those infuriatingly small mobile phone buttons and where a gentleman can express his undying love for you in English, the langauge of Shakespeare, or if you prefer Ralph.

Speaking of Shakespeare, he’d be over eighty years old now if he was still alive. You didn’t know he died? Yes I’m afraid so. He meant a lot to many of us. I’m still in shock. I’m thinking of going to a bar this Friday to drown my sorrows. Wanna come?

The Receptionist
The Receptionist
13 years ago

Mr Ringschott!

Love Gods are not permitted to flirt with the clients. Honestly, it’s bad enough trying to keep an eye on Dr Troppo without you acting up as well.

I insist that you apologise to Ms Gen now.

13 years ago

Mmmmm. I love it when you get all stern like that.

The Receptionist
The Receptionist
13 years ago

I’m not at all surprised. Now where is your apology?

Nicholas Gruen
Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
13 years ago


So that was you I saw across the room at the London in Port Melbourne!

I wonder if you will ever respect me again.

13 years ago


Were you the one in the flowery cotton dress, and the Milano Blahniks? I had my eye on you, but lost you in the crowd.


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